Canadian embassy in Cuba reinstating some services following mystery illnesses
A man walks beside Canada's embassy in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, April 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Desmond Boylan
Canada’s embassy in Cuba is reinstating some services that were cancelled back in May following a string of mysterious illnesses that had struck several diplomats.
In a news release, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said it will reinstate passport drop-off and visa pick-up services, as well as biometrics collection -- which includes fingerprint and photo taking -- in the Cuban capital of Havana on Aug. 1.
The federal department said it is bringing the services back to “minimize the impact of the closure on applicants and facilitate their travel to Canada.”
“We will continue to explore other mitigation measures and alternative service channels to improve visa and immigration services offered to Cuban residents,” the government statement read.
The embassy is still accepting all Canadian passport, proof of citizenship and permanent resident travel document applications. Study and work permit services will remain suspended, as will permanent residency interviews.
The embassy suspended the services in May when staffing levels were cut in half due to 14 staff members suffering “unusual health symptoms” including unexplained dizziness, nausea and sudden fatigue. These illnesses have been dubbed the Havana Syndrome.